Explorations on an urban interventions management system: a reflection on how to deal with urban complex systems and deliver dynamic change.
Miguel, Marta Alexandra Godinho
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How we plan and manage urban development has become an increasingly complex challenge due to unpredictable and rapid conditional changes in postmodern cities. This in turn calls for a paradigm shift in the way we understand and practice urban planning and design. A resilient urban planning system has to be open and flexible rather than restrictive and rigid. It has to respond promptly and adequately to the fast and diverse ways cities are reorganising as a response to globalization, environmental challenges and advances in technology. The need for a new kind of urban planning, which is able to embrace the complexity and unpredictability of the postmodern city, has been explored by several planning theorists. However, these theories were often developed from the perspective of urban planning and the city itself. In this thesis the complexity and evolutionary theory are used to approach the subject of planning process from a perspective whereby the city is considered as the emergent and self-organising product of a sequence of interventions in the urban environment. This research suggests a planning approach focused on the design and selection of human interventions. Within this, the strategic roles for both top-down and bottom-up interventions are investigated in relation to the formation of urban character and urban development. The research presents exploratory models, to help recognise, understand and mediate between a complex range of urban managers and external pressures derived from urban conditional changes. Findings from this exploratory study yield useful insights into how society should perceive cities in transition, as well as adopting an ideological shift to deal with contemporary and future city planning.